Something about body language

It’s very common for atypical people to be told that they have no body language, whether or not this is actually true.

If you:

  • Have an atypical body, or:
  • Move in unusual ways, or:
  • Have an atypical face, or:
  • Speak oddly

Lots of people will tell you that:

  • You have no body language, or:
  • You have no tones of voice, or:
  • You’re impossible to read, or:
  • You have a flat affect, or:
  • You have no facial expressions

This can be for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with whether or not you have these things. For instance:

  • People who find your body uncomfortable, and try to avoid looking, tend not to pick up on body language
  • Likewise with faces - someone who isn’t looking at your face because they don’t want to see its odd shape, may well think you have no facial expressions because they aren’t seeing them
  • If you move unusually, you may have body language that many people aren’t familiar with. This doesn’t mean you don’t have any. It means their social skills are lacking.
  • For instance, they may not realize that rocking and hand flapping are often forms of expressive body language.
  • They may be assuming that people like you don’t have body language etc, and therefore actively ignoring yours because it doesn’t have a place in their worldview.

It may be true that you don’t have body language, tones of voice, facial expressions, or whatever. But it may not be, and it’s very common for people to get this wrong.